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Paxos for System Builders: An Overview Yair Amir and Jonathan Kirsch

Summary: Paxos for System Builders: An Overview
Yair Amir and Jonathan Kirsch
Johns Hopkins University
{yairamir, jak}@cs.jhu.edu
1 Introduction
State machine replication (SMR) [8,14] is a well-known
technique for building distributed services requiring high
performance and high availability. The Paxos protocol
[9, 10], developed by Leslie Lamport, is perhaps the most
widely-known SMR protocol and has received a great deal
of attention in the literature. Although Paxos was known in
the 1980s to some and published in 1998, it is difficult to
understand how the protocol works from the original speci-
fication. Further, the original specification had a theoretical
flavor and omitted many important practical details, includ-
ing how failures are detected and what type of leader elec-
tion algorithm is used.
As system builders, we believe that filling in these miss-
ing details is critical if one wishes to build a real system
that uses Paxos as a replication engine. This white paper


Source: Amir, Yair - Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences